Operated by Portland pop-punk band Smoochknob, The Analog Cafe & Theater hosts more than 500 shows a year across two stages. Learn more about its guest chef, burlesques and upcoming winter shows in February’s Know Your Venue feature.
The queen is back. I’m still processing the visual masterpiece I witnessed last night. This was my first stadium show because I haven’t really felt the need or desire to see anyone perform in such a large scale because the prices are usually incredibly steep and my eyesight is not getting any better. CenturyLink Field is incredibly huge and can house over 67,000 people which is a huge step up from the MGM Grand Arena where I last saw Beyonce in 2013. Remember when I thought seeing Beyonce in 2013 was the best thing ever? Last night was on fire. The whole arena was bustling with excited fans who were dressed spectacularly (the shoe game was so strong) and I even spotted some Seahawks roaming around as well. Everyone loves Beyonce. Especially with the latest album “Lemonade” which was released in April alongside a striking visual album.
I waited for the show to start as the lights went down and a giant cube was lit up with visually stunning imagery and rotating as the show started and smoke filled the stage. Beyonce started with Formation dressed in a giant black bolero hat. She asked the crowd if we were ready to slay tonight and had everyone chanting “I SLAY” before asking everyone to sing a long to “Formation” which was amazing and the best way to start the show up. Bey performed a variety of songs from Lemonade with everything from “Drunk In Love”, “Girls”, “Naughty Girl”, “Single Ladies”, and “Survivor”. Beyonce thanked everyone for being at the show and told everyone that Lemonade was about redemption and the sweetness.
The outfit changes were absolutely stunning. The standout was the red latex and red fur which was amazing. Everything was visually exciting whether it be a sequined bodysuit, the pyrotechnics that you can feel on your face, the confetti, or the booming fireworks. The most moving thing of the night was probably a toss up between “Freedom” being performed in a shallow pool of water where Bey and her dancers splashed around which almost made everyone forget that the rain had started in typical PNW fashion. The catwalk had conveyor belts on them, there was a build in to the cube which was another thing I’ve never seen at a show before. Another thing I really enjoyed was the amount of badass ladies up on stage, not just the dancers and the backup singers but even the guitarist and drummer who both had amazing solos.
There was also a break in the show where the giant cube turned purple and “Purple Rain” by the late and great Prince played which was really nicely done and a nice tribute. At the end of the night B closed out the show with “Halo” with a bunch of fireworks and a smile on her face. She spoke about how playing stadium shows was a dream when she was younger and how we can all follow our dreams with a little blood, sweat, and tears. This show was a beautifully constructed masterpiece and I am so glad I happened to hit up the Formation World Tour. The only real bummer was the traffic after the show and that I didn’t get home until 1AM and the fact that CenturyLink only served beer and wine, yet another reason why Beyonce needs to come to Portland and perform at the Moda Center.